Elder Abuse

**If you or someone you know is in a life threatening situation, or immediate danger, call 911**

What is Elder Abuse?

Elder Abuse is any knowing, intentional or negligent act that causes harm (or a serious risk of harm) to a vulnerable adult perpetrated by a family member, caregiver or trusted friend. Elder abuse can happen to anyone-you, your family, friends or neighbors. 1 out of every 10 people over the age of 60, who live at home, report being abused.

It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor. Elder abuse happens in all cultures and races. It can happen in your home, in a nursing home or assisted living facility or in a hospital. Abusers are often a spouse or adult children.

Risk Factors:

Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia

Mental illness or substance abuse (victim abuser or both)

Social isolation

Poor physical health

Types of Abuse and How to Spot the Red Flags

Financial Exploitation

the illegal taking, misuse, or concealment of funds, property, or assets of a senior for someone else’s benefit *FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION IS THE MOST COMMON FORM OF ELDER ABUSE*

Examples: taking elders money, jewelry, car or home for abusers own use

Red Flags– large financial gifts, caregiver in charge of elders money, newly signed property transfers when an elder doesn’t understand what they signed


Physical Abuse

causing physical pain or injury to an elder, or restraining an elder

Examples: hitting, pinching, shoving, tying someone down, locking someone in a room, over medicating

Red Flags-bruises, cuts, broken bones, bed sores


Neglect & Abandonment

deserting or failing to provide care, food, shelter, health care, or protection for an elder

Examples: lack of basic hygiene, not enough food or medication, person with dementia left alone

Red Flags-dirty or unbathed, weight loss, bed bugs or rodents in the home, elder found wandering lost


Emotional Abuse

inflicting mental pain, or distress on an elder through verbal or nonverbal acts,

Examples: bullying, intimidation, verbal insults, fear of retaliation, treating an elder as a child,

Red Flags- elder is overly concerned about what their caregiver will think or do, caregiver is verbally aggressive or demeaning, controlling,



An inability to understand the consequences of one’s own actions or inaction, leads (or could lead) to harm or endangerment

Example: refusing needed health care, refusing to safely maintain a safe home

Red Flags-frequent calls to 911 but refuses to go to the hospital, hoarding, weight loss, dehydration,


Sexual Abuse

sexual contact of any kind without an elders permission

Examples: physical sex acts, showing an elder pornography,  or forcing the elder to undress

Red Flags-unexplained sexually transmitted diseases, bruises, tears, urinary tract infection

What can YOU do?

Call 911 to notify the police

If you don’t feel safe or are being abused-TELL SOMEONE-your doctor, a family member or friend.

If you know, or suspect, an elder is being abused  REPORT IT -don’t wait for someone else to do it.

You don’t have to prove abuse-that’s the job of the professionals!

To report suspected elder abuse in your community click below:

The National Center on Elder Abuse

To report suspected elder abuse in a nursing home, assisted living facility or board and care home contact the Police for immediate danger and your state survey agency:

Nursing Home Compare State Websites and Contact Information

Residents of a nursing home, assisted living facility or board and care home may request assistance reporting  abuse by contacting the Long Term Care Ombudsman click below:

The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long Term Care

Why Should I Care?

  • Most incidents of abuse go undetected and unreported.
  • Elder abuse is expected to rise.
  • Elders who experienced abuse, have a 300% higher risk of death.